tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC May 5, 2012 7:00am-8:00am EDT
campaign in two critical swing states. will the romney campaign steal the spotlight? a 9/11 master mind ka lig ma hammed. we are live from guantanamo bachlt why covering more was the most simple time of his life. on a lighter note, we are off to the races with the 138th kentucky derby today. what about the hats? we are going show you the perfect toppers for churchill downs. good morning. welcome to weekends with alex wi witt. the first big political rallies of the 2012 presidential race are torgting ohio and virginia, two swing state that is may be critical to winning re-election. mike vie carous has the preview. good morning. >> good morning to you, alex.
this is the kick off of the obama 2012 campaign. the president and first lady are making two stops to ohio and virginia. they are not just swing states. they are swing cities as well. they look at the map and determine within the battleground states, what are the cities that voted for president bush in 2004 and voted for president barack obama in 2008? columbus, ohio and richmond, virginia are two such cities. you'll see a lot of visits from romney and president obama. the president and first lady started off today in cleveland then on to richmond. one difference you are going to be seeing, this is an official campaign event. there's not much difference between the events since president obama announced the re-election bid and what we have seen. the president is expected to sharply go out after mitt romney, name him by name. the president hasn't done a lot of it in a little bit of an oblique way. this is going to be a full-on
campaign event. we might note, mitt romney is down for the weekend. he doesn't have public events. mitt and ann romney are welcoming their 17th and 18th grandchildren into the romney family today born to tagg romney. romney back in ohio monday. that key swing state. he'll be there a lot. virginia regarded a this year's florida. al lex. >> thank you for that. let's go to the politics and how politics are taking shape. president obama is ahead of romney by seven points including an edge with independent voters. t two points ahead in ohio. they are trying to hammer home their messages. >> our businesses have now
created more than 4.2 million new jobs over the last 26 months. more than 1 million jobs in the last six months alone. there's a lot of folks out of work. that means we have to do more. >> we should be seeing numbers in 500,000 creates in a month. this is way, way, off. it's a terrible and disappointing report this morning. clearly the american people are wondering why the recovery isn't happening faster. why it's taking years and years for the recovery to occur. joining me now, richard wolffe and abbiphillips. hello. good to see you. >> good morning. >> richard, you have been covering politics for a long time. as the obama am cane launches their 2012 effort, give me a compareson. is there confidence, over confidence, concern, what is the tenor there? >> well, i wouldn't say there's
overconfidence. this is going to be a tight election. folks in chicago certainly know that. i think the model everyone is looking at is the most recent presidential election, which is 2004, which was a two to three-point race. democrats felt it was a loss for them, there were times through 2004 when president bush was down in the polls. in fact, if you track where he was at this point in 2004, his approval ratings were almost identical to where president obama is and his numbers got worse through the summer until he got to the convention time in new york. there are similarities there. the economy is obviously not where chicago would want it to be. they know in is going to be a long and tough win for them. >> let's look at the economic news at the end of the week. the april job numbers. romney pouncing on them as being disappointing. the president saying they have
added 4 million jobs over the last 26 months. put this in perspective for us. >> romney's response was probably closer to what economists would have said. the report really shows, the economy is slowing down. i do think his response, calling it extremely disappointing was disproportionate. the majority of americans are seeing the unemployment rate ticking down slightly. they are saying things are going in the right direction, but not moving as quickly as possible. i don't think an overly negative message is going to be effective for romney. add to the fact the president has a home state advantage as the incumbent. he's going to continue to poll higher than romney for the future elfe future especially if the economy
moves in the direction of lower unemployment. >> let's put this video up. i want to get your reaction. here it is. >> okay. >> now, instead of losing jobs, we are gaining them. the first increase in manufacture jobs in a decade. over the last 25 months, 4.1 million new private sector jobs. while there's still more to do, there's been real progress. president obama never stopped believing in us and fighting for us. >> okay. the believing in us and fighting for us aside, does this message work, if the economy continues to sputter? we keep getting reports like the one this month? richard? >> it's relative, isn't it? the jobs number was disappointing for where folks thought it should be. where should it be at the moment? the president has to run on his record. republicans say he doesn't have a record to run on. there's been a significant
growth of jobs. you know, the message for this president, which i think is going to be sharpened today, it is about where we have come from and where he wants us to go to. so, you know, for that to happen, you have to say look at the jobs that have been created and lost in the first place. this is where and how we are going to get to a much better economy. you know, there's a story that he has to tell. the jobs numbers one month is only one month part of what has been a three yearlong, but slow recovery. >> abbi, you touched on this a little bit. touch on what projections economists are putting forth and how it's going to play out more relevantly in the next six months. >> there's a lot of hopefulness at the beginning of the year where the economy was going to go. now it's starting to be tempered by the job support that is are not as good as people wanted them to be. i think, at this point,
economists are looking to an economy improving slower than they want it to. you know, i think the president has a long way to go in terms of what the unemployment rate needs to be for him to have a better chance of winning in november. but it certainly needs to be below 8%. if it's anywhere near 8%, i think he's going to have a hard time. in chicago, it's what they are looking at. they are looking at where the economy is, not only nationally, but in the swing states like ohio, pennsylvania and virginia where voters are going to be voting on how they feel the economy is going. whether they think the trajectory is downward rather than upward. >> okay, good to see you both. thank you so much. >> thank you. president obama is scheduled to attend his first rally of the campaign at 1:00 p.m. eastern. we'll bring it to you live here. after the rally, the president will head to virginia, one of the biggest swing states
and get the gops take on this in ten minutes from now. the woman at the center of the secret service scandal is speaking out for the first time. she told a columbian radio station she fled the country fearing retaliation and since returned. she says any sensitive information would have been hers if she had been a spy. she said at that moment, if i wanted to or had been one of those terrorist groups, it's obvious i would have been able to get everything. a fight began at the hotel when an agent refused to pay her the next morning. today, the u.s. will bring the 9/11 conspirators to justice. they face arraignment today. families of 9/11 victims traveled to witness the proceedings. >> i'm from brooklyn. you know what? you face your fight. i want to see him eye-to-eye.
itis the man who killed my sister. him and the other cohorts or whatever you want to call them. >> it's taking place in guantanamo bay in cuba. michael isikoff is there for us. tell us what's going to happen this morning. >> reporter: well, there's a lot of unease and anticipation about what's going to happen here. nobody really knows. in just about two hours, the defendants will be led into the courtroom for the formal arraignment on the charges they plotted the 9/11 attacks. they will be informed of the charges against them, asked if they accept their military lawyers and asked if they want to enter a plea. there's a lot of roadblocks along the way. the defense lawyers, who have been assigned to represent them are going to raise significant motions objecting to the rules
saying they interfered with the ability to represent their clients, the mail has been monitors, inspected. they have been unable to get translators. the judge is going to have to deal with those motions. after that, what khalid will do, he's railed against the united states, bragged that he planned the 9/11 attacks from a-z and expressed interest in becoming a martyr. there's interest they may be planning to fight the charges. how that's going to play out, we are all going to be watching. >> i can imagine. talk about the families, briefly, who went down there. this is such a difficult time for them. what are they thinking and feeling? we heard from one gentleman who said it's time for justice. do people believe justice will be served? >> reporter: well, the ones that came down here by and large do.
i talked to eddie, yesterday, the one we just saw and some of the others. they all believe that these military trials will bring justice. they say they want to see that justice. remember, alex, there's been enormous controversy about the military trials. the first military commission president obama halted in 2009 when he took office. eric holder tried to have them tried in federal court in new york city. there was a huge political opposition about that. now it's back here in guantanamo, the facility president obama wanted to close. there's big questions about whether the military system, which is new and untested is going to be able to adequately try these people and particularly in the court of public opinion. are they seen as fair trials? it's the big question that hangs over the proceedings. >> it's a very big question. thanks for the live report.
we appreciate that. here is what we are asking you today, as court proceedings begin, ksm for twitter purposes, will there be justice? talk to me on twitter. i'll get to your tweets throughout the day. office politics with author and war critics. he talks about the brotherhood he found in the most unlikely of places.
start your engine, everyone. the obama campaign has the first political rallies of 20126789 he'll be in ohio then virginia. bob mcdonal says virginia could determine who is the next president. >> this may well be the president that decides who the next president is. >> most of us say it's a tough path for a republican to win the presidency without winning virginia. >> with me now is pete snyder, chairman of virginia's victory 2012. good to see you. thanks for joining me. >> good morning. thanks for having me. i want to talk about the numbers on the screen. we had polling showing mitt romney trailing the president among registered voters, women and independents. why is the president doing well in virginia right now and why do you think it could change?
>> alex, i'm a former pollster. think of it as a recovering alcoholic or so. look, any horse race numbers right now, you can throw out the door. they are virtually meaningless. there's a poll last week that showed romney up six. i don't believe that one, either. what is important is what are the issues virginia voters are focused on. the surveys you show show that virginia voters are interested in the economy, number one. unemployment, number two. three is the deficit. they are worried about the debt this country is taking on. four is gas prices. i don't think that's going to change between now and november. that's a very tough road for the president to hoe. virginia is a toss up as mike viqueira said, it's the number one battleground state. we welcome the president coming to virginia as often as he is. he needs to work really, really
hard to win back the trust of virginia voters here. hundreds of voters voted for a democrat for the first time since lbj won the presidency did virginia go for a democrat. they bought into the message of hope and change candidate obama was selling. he looked at your colleague, matt lauer. he said the economy is going to be right. the results aren't there. virginia voters are left holding the bag. i think it's going to be a tough road. >> i want to talk about stats from former mccain, okay. chief economist and republican. mark zandy. job losses are the most serious weight on the job market thachlt is mccain's former economist. what do you think about that?
>> all due respect to senator mccain, i don't think his economic program won the day in 2008. you can pick a random economist out there and, you know, say anything that you want. alex, i think the great thing about the president coming 20 virginia today to kick off his presidential campaign is the incredible contrast between what's been happening in the country under his policies and what's been happening in virginia under the policies of a conservative economic minded governor, governor bob mcdonald who believes in right to work. president obama said in virginia that virginia shouldn't be a right to work state. someone in bob mcdonald who focused on the economy like a laser beam. it's why he won by 17 points after president obama won by seven. virginia voters are focused on jobs. >> are you going take that message, are you going to
richmond virginia today and be among those trying to put out certain messages after the president campaign there is? >> absolutely. i have the chicken suit in the car. we are all set and ready roll. seriously, we are pointing out the contrast of what good things are happening in virginia under an economic minded leader. barack obama said he was going to focus on the economy. instead, he chewed up two and a half years, his number one priority ramming down obama care that kills small jobs. small businessmen and women are not hiring because of obama care. we have a clear contrast and it's going to resinate with virginia voters. >> thank you very much. we will talk to you again throughout the cam tan. a super moon in the sky. the moon is going to turn full during 2 closest approach to earth this year. it's going to be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than the norm.
let's hope there's clear skies where you are. get out and check it out. today, we stand against the tyranny of single mile credit cards. battle speech right? may i? [ horse neighs ] for too long, people have settled for single miles. with the capital one venture card, you'll earn double miles on every purchase, every day! [ visigoths cheer ] hawaii, here we come. [ alec ] so sign up today for a venture card at capitalone.com. and start earning double. [ all ] double miles! [ brays ] what's in your wallet? can you play games on that? not on the runway. no.
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let nothing stand in your way. devry university, proud to support the education of our u.s. olympic team. it is time for the three big money headlines. anemic april, how low can they go and men versus women. good morning to you morgan. >> good morning. thanks for having me on. >> the number of jobs added in april is lower than expect. >> we saw 115,000 jobs added in april. it's lower than the last couple months. unemployment is down to 8.1% from 8.2% a month earlier. the reason it was took down was not because we saw a lot of jobs. it's the fact we have seen a lot of americans leaving the work force. more than 340,000 people stopped looking for jobs in the month of
april. once they stop looking for jobs, they are not counted in the labor data. they are not looking for jobs or getting unemployment. it's not good news despite the fact the unemployment number came down. >> here is a number we like. 3.84%. that's the mortgage rate at a low. certainly, it's good for home buyers. do you think they are going to go lower? how will it help the housing market? >> it is great news for home buyers and those who want to refinance. there's a big if here. lending has been tight. if you can qualify for the rates, they are record lou lows. we have seen it in response to the news last week gross domestic product dropped to 2.2%. mortgage rates are tied in with the economic reports. that, coupled with the fact that the jobs report was not so great, i think we will see
mortgage rates hover at least in the short term. that said, freddie mac says the rates will pick up later this year, as high as 4.5%. maybe now, if you do qualify, it's a good time to lock into the rates. >> online shopping, men are doing more of it than women? >> that's according to new data from iprospect. 19 million men earning more than $100,000 per year are shopping online. 50% of these men are spending $4,000 or more each year. it's a group -- it's a shopping demographic that is becoming larger and larger. i think there's a more interesting trend than just men versus women. it's the fact online shopping in general continued to grow and take market share from traditional brick and mortars. we have seen a lot of stores closing, best buy, borders, sears.
the largest story is how it affects jobs and commercial real estate. >> thank you, morgan. >> thank you. hats. lots and lots of them. some of the race day's finest here on weekends with alex witt. ♪ high schools in six states enrolled in the national math and science initiative... ...which helped students and teachers get better results in ap courses. together, they raised ap test scores 138%. just imagine our potential... ...if the other states joined them. let's raise our scores. let's invest in our teachers and inspire our students. let's solve this.
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sxz on your mark, get set, go. president obama is relaunching his campaign today for 2012. he will hold rallies in ohio and virginia. the first lady will join him for this trip. we'll have live coverage at ohio state university about 1:00 p.m. eastern time. let's go to more on the 9/11 master mind and four co-conspirator who is face arraignment today in grauantana
bay, cuba. general, thank you very joining us. >> morning, alex. >> tell us the difference between trying in a public court and military commission. >> well, we certainly have tied ourselves in knots. ten years later, we are bringing the five indicted conspirators. they are going to be arraigned. there will be a couple hundred family members watching live from a military post in the u.s. or on sight. it's a danger of turning into a zoo. the accused will try to put the cia, the department of justice and the u.s. armed forces on trial instead of themselves. >> how concerned are you about the element of fairness here, sir, and the ability for this trial to get a fair trial and whether justice is delivered. >> this is our third attempt to
find a way to bring them to justice. i'm convinced the commission, as it's constituted is fair way to go about bringing out the evidence and determining guilt and evidence. some people have so-called reformed the military commission process. there was a good argument to do it in a federal court. there was a political disaster when the attorney general wanted to do it in new york city in a federal court. the political backlash was ferocious. the military commission undoubtedly be will scrutinized by the world community and attacked by many. why shouldn't it work? it's the same general procedures we use to for 2.4 men and women in the arm eed forces. >> i'm curious about the evidence in court.
khalid was subject to torture. what will we hear? >> well, you know, first of all, it was shameful that we abused some of these detainees under our control. there were only three that we say were formally abused. having said that, they have excluded evidence that was obtained under coercion. i don't see why this would necessarily be an impedestrianment to a fair trial. a prosecutor, road scholar, brilliant general. i think we ought to have some confidence in the process they have set up. >> how long might the process last? does it move more quickly than a civilian trial? >> the procedures are surprisingly similar. this is not, of course, under the uniform code of military
justice but a variant of it. i think there's a good chance it will go on forever. today's the arraignment. will it turn into an attempt to exclude, you know, the nature of the process they are subjected to? will they turn it into a zoo? he tried to plead guilty at the last hearing because he wants to be a martyr. it's hard to know how it will turn out. hopefully, they are all frightfully dangerous people. i have been to guantanamo. we have the worst of the worst incour incarcerated there. we don't know what to do with them. >> thank you. >> thanks, alex. folks are gathering at churchill downs for the 138th kentucky derby. 150,000 people are expected to go to the run for the roses and 15 million more will watch the
race on nbc. for those on hand and the horses, weather could be a factor. people in the infield of the track had to seek shelter because of a storm. what about today? let's go to bill karins. good morning. >> good morning to you. yesterday, we had the running in kentucky with all the nasty weather that ran through there. we don't want a repeat of that today on derby day. thunderstorms played much to kentucky. we had an inch and a quarter in louisville. the track has a lot of trying to do 6789 most of the rain is over with for the area. here is the forecast. at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon, it's going to be very warm. the clouds should stick around until noon or 1:00. when the sun comes out, temperatures go to low to mid-80s. only a few afternoon showers are expected. it's going to be a dry forecast. if the sun comes out, maybe the
track can dry out so it's not muddy out there. it's a thumbs up for the derby. your saturday forecast, we have thunderstorm concerns 23r minneapolis to iowa down to chicago. it's going to be very warm with record highs from kansas city to dallas. san antonio, everyone soaring into the 90s. cloudy in boston. the west coast looks fine. sunday, more of the same. thunderstorms continue across the plains while the heat continues to bake portions of the deep south. as far as the derby, a dry forecast and the track drying out throughout the day. back to you. >> a lot of people are loving to hear that. let's talk about the favored to win the kentucky derby. bodemeister has odds. it's not a safe bet. favorites only won four out of
the last 32 kentucky derbies. keep your eyes on the fashions worn by all those cheering on the horszs, especially those amazing and beautiful hats. joining me is designer christine moore who makes hats for the kentucky derby. she's got a beautiful one on her head. look at that. good morning. >> good morning. how are you? >> i'm well, thanks. i think i have had more rest than you in the last week or so getting the hats ready. >> last night was the worst, three and a half hours. >> you don't look any worse for the wear and tear. how much fun is it to see the hats? how much do hats make the derby? >> hats are the derby, really. other than horses. >> yeah, that side bar. >> yeah. no, it's so important. it's all about the hat. the dress, you know, is a compliment to the hat. it's the supreme thing. >> how pricey can these hats
get? i mean what's on your head right now, i'm sure is not cheap. it's beautiful. it's handmade. >> yes. everything that we do is handmade in new york. it's everything is made from flat fabric. we form the roses ourselves. it's very unique. this is the venue in which we can do, as an artist, whatever we want to do. we can be as crazy and creative as we want to. therefore, they tend to be more expensive. >> the one you are holding. you are welcome to hold that up so we can get a shot of that as well. keep it there, that's perfect. that is a beautiful, it looks like you have a peacock feathers in there. it's magnificent. it's another fas nay tor. are they the trend this year? is this stemming from the royal wedding? >> well, you know, it's still a
big trend. i'm finding that medium brims have been an american answer to the trend of the fastenator. it causes you to be able to see and be seen and have a no fuss feeling on your head. i'm seeing that the medium brim crept up to compete with the fas nay tor. it's still hot, for sure. >> tell me quickly, how much is the one in your hand. how much does that cost? >> it's $675. >> oh, gosh. >> the one on my head is less. it's $450. >> that's a deal. >> there's a range. >> there is. there are beautiful hats to see. christine moor, best of luck. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. have a great day.
>> you, too. >> you can watch live coverage for run for the roses at 11:00 eastern on the nbc sports network. at 4:00, it switches to nbc for the 138th kentucky derby. coming up next in office politics, author, film maker sebastian is going to tell us why covering the war in afghanistan may have been the least stressful time in his life. go figure, right? (female announcer) most life insurance companies look at you and just see a policy. at aviva, we do things differently. we're bringing humanity back to life insurance. that's why only aviva rewards you with savings for getting a check-up. it's our wellness for life program, with online access to mayo clinic. see the difference at avivausa.com.
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years ago, 12 years ago, we had extra money and thought it would be great to start a bar, a restaurant that brought, that had a reading series and photos on the walls and brought people from publishing and journalism into one place. we teamed up with his future wife and another guy and we built this place. >> why the half king? >> that is a reference to a seneca chief in the 1740s and 1750s who caused a lot of problems. he started the french/indian war. >> partly makes sense because of you and this propensity to go to war the way you write about it, the way you want to go spend time in it. what was it that attracted you? >> people talk about the adrenaline rush and war reporting. i think a lot of it is being scared. being in danger is a miserable
experience. the real thrill comes from participating in world events and feeling necessary, like you have a purpose. there's an urgency in your work. there's an urgency in the events. that is what captivates people in my profession. let's talk about the documentary. this was named after a medic killed in afghanistan. >> my colleague, tim and i, we each did five month long trips to eastern afghanistan. there was a lot of combat out there when we were there. for awhile, 20% of all combat in afghanistan was taking place inside this six mile long valley. it was rough physically. there was no running water, internet, phone, no cooked food, no women, no television. nothing that young men like was there. but, it was an incredibly tight group. the experience of being part of
a small, loyal group in a remote place is an ancient place. it was awful and it was a weird utopia. relations between people were simple. you didn't have to worry about anything except not getting killed. in a weird way, it was the least stressful time of my life. >> yet fearful time? >> sometimes. yeah, sometimes we were very scared. i mean me, tim, the soldiers. i mean, you never knew when you were going get hit. often, that first burst would come within an inch of you. it was very, very scary living like that. it really was a group of brothers up there. by the end of the year, that feeling part of a brotherhood is an absolutely intoxicating feeling. i miss it. >> you write about this subject in your book, "war". >> a lot of them miss being out
there fighting. it's politically incorrect but it's true. they miss the adrenaline of combat. more of what they miss is the brotherhood. you can't find that at home. >> is there something that stands out as to when you were the most afraid? >> um, yeah. i mean there was a number of them. the first time i was deeply, deeply frightened was a check point during the civil war. the rebels were all really high on drugs and very, very angry. i was with soldiers and a couple other soldiers. they cocked their guns and were ready to shoot. i thought we were going to be educated. we weren't, obviously. that left a mark. >> can you reconcile being at war in a place, destroying someplace that is otherwise
beautiful? are there times, even in the midst of war that you can find beauty in the area around you? >> all the wars i have been in were incredibly beautiful places. afghanistan is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. bosnia was gorgeous. libya, they are paradises. it's what war is. people doing bad things in paradise. >> our conversation continues at 12:30 eastern. sebastian is going to tell me what it was like to have names and addresses of tall pan members and what he did with that information. in the molt, the bronze age and the new jersey tanning mom. what is she thinking? could boiling down to the most campathing two minutes in ports. it's just such a packed house. it's just such a thrill. >> and there is one element missing from the behind-the-scenes piece. that is the hat situation. last year i was here at the
derby someone had me put a hat on. and i realized my head is not designed for a kentucky derby hat. i don't understand what happened. there's a good chance i putts it on wrong. i'm not really sure. brow i was not going to touch it this year. the hats are beautiful. it's an absolutely perfect tradition. >> i see you in a beret, maybe. >> i think you should have brought that back out because it's ciynco de mayo. and that works for that. [ laughter ] >> combi for it. you guys have all morning long. >> there we go. we're back in a moment. chris. let's see what we have to say. home of the brave. ♪
>> a new jersey woman accused of taking her 6-year-old daughter to a tanning bad is blasting her critics. 44-year-old patricia says her detractors are jealous, fat and ugly. she still maintains she did phot put her daughter in a tanning booth. >> she's my little girl. i'm not going to bring my little daughter into a 90 degrees bed. that's not normal. >> krent cil is now join charged with child endangerment. i don't want to talk about the legal ramifications on this case. what i do want to pick up on is what patricia krentcil just said. not for nothing, a lot of us look at her and we think she is crazy for doing something intentionally to make herself look so grossly unnatural. and then it makes us think,
well, how could she have the maternal skills to good judgemented, you know. are we right in thinking this way? is it normal? >> well, first of all, a lot of people do go to tanning salons. some use it occasionally. some people are addicted to tanning. we call those people tanorexics. even if we do believe she didn't bring her daughter in, we have to think about what's going oven with her own psychology. she says it's crazy. why would i bring a child into a 90 degree tanning booth. so she knows there's something wrong with what she's doing. and we're finding out that a lot of people who do use these t tanninta tannita tanning salons do have these emotional issues. they're using the tanning not to get darker, but to feel much more relaxed and to socialize more.
we're looking at these tanning salons that really do release endoor fins and therefore, they become adouble-ted. >> for all of us watching the coverage and seeing this woman, we call into question her maternal judgment. i mean, is that a natural leap that we're all thinking hey, how could she have put -- >> i think it is a leap to say that someone who has an addiction to tanning may have some issues as far as parenting. we could look at if you have an addiction problem itself with alcohol, smoking, we tend to expod our children to some of those evils. and, therefore, are you a good role model by getting that dark, that tan. what is if message that you're giving to your child that you have to get better looking by being darker in that way. >> that's a good question. i don't have the answer to it, but anyway, jeff, we thank you as awes thews always. that is a wrap our our day.
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